According to the American Cancer Society, on an annual basis approximately 76,300 individuals will be diagnosed with skin cancer. Additionally, approximately 10,100 individuals will die from skin cancer each year. What makes these statistics so sad is the fact that if it is caught early, skin cancer is curable. What makes it even worse is that if proper steps are taken, skin cancer for the most part can be prevented. A good portion of skin cancers come from sun exposure. The problem is that not enough is being done to educate people on the dangers of skin cancer or on the steps that they can take to prevent skin cancer. This is why skin cancer prevention education is so important.
A person runs the risk of skin cancer no matter what time of the year it is. If a person has too much sun, they will develop sunspots and this in turn could lead to cancer. It is important that people apply sunscreen anytime they’re going to be in the sun for more than 20 minutes. Additionally, people should perform self-checks on their skin and visit our dermatologist regularly.
Parents must take steps to protect their children from the sun. Why? Because according to information gathered by the University of California San Francisco, the majority of sun exposure happens to people before they reach the age of 18. It can take up to 20 years for cancer to develop. This means that even if a person right now is taking precautions and staying out of the sun, the habits they had when they were a child or an early teenager could affect their chances of getting cancer now. Parents must be diligent about protecting their children from the sun.
Some of the steps that people can take to prevent sun-related skin cancer is to stay out of the sun when the sun is the strongest. This is between 10 AM and 2 PM. It is also essential to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen. The best sunscreens are those that have both UVA and UVB protection. Additionally, sunscreen is not a one application for the entire day product. Sunscreen is only effective if it is reapplied every two hours.
In addition to using sunscreen, it is important that you protect your lips by wearing a lip balm that has an SPF of 15 or more. Additional protection can be had by wearing a hat and clothing that protects your skin while you’re in the sun. The American Academy of Dermatology has approved certain products, including some UV protective sunglasses, for use while in the sun.
Everyone can develop skin cancer. However, skin cancer is a cumulative risk. This means that the more factors you have combined, the higher your risk. An individual who burns easily, has had a lot of sun exposure in their life, has had multiple sunburns, especially as a child or adolescence and who has freckles has a high risk of getting skin cancer.
Skin cancer is preventable. When it is caught early, it is easily curable. For this reason, having skin cancer prevention programs is a must. At Steele Creek Dermatology in Charlotte, we are committed to skin cancer prevention education. We know that proper knowledge is critical in preventing skin cancer and thus saving lives. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment to learn more about skin cancer prevention.